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Above the Battle

But if the cause be suspect or if it is tainted (as we judge that of our adversaries to be), what will be the situation of a moral élite which has preserved the sad and lofty privilege of perceiving at least a part of the truth, and which must nevertheless fight and die and kill for a faith which it doubts?

Those passionate natures that are intoxicated by fighting or are voluntarily blinded by the necessities of action are not troubled by these questions. For them the enemy is a single mass; nothing else exists for them but this, for they have to break it; it is their function and their duty. And to each his special duty. But if minorities do not exist for such men, they do exist for us who, since we are not fighting, have the liberty and the duty to see every aspect of the case—we who form part of the eternal minority, the minority which has been, is, and always will be eternally oppressed. It is for us to hear and to proclaim these moral sufferings! Plenty of others repeat or invent the jubilant echoes of the struggle. May other voices be raised to give the tragic accents of the fight and its sacred horror!

I shall take my examples from the enemy camp, for several reasons: because the German